Re: !DOCTYPE declaration question(s)

by "Cindy Stanley" <stanleysupport(at)>

 Date:  Thu, 2 Sep 1999 21:22:18 -0400
 To:  <hwg-basics(at)>
  todo: View Thread, Original
From: ShemaXod(at) <ShemaXod(at)>
>Can anyone give a simple explanations of the basic differences between
>various HTML versions (is that the right word?) -
>4.0, 3.2, 2.0.

HTML2 is the oldest, with 4.0 being the newest. This would mean that
each higher version has new tag elements, attributes, etc, (and has
deprecated elements/attributes) which in turn, can make more
interactive/exciting web pages. Keeping current w/ your versions of HTML
is basically the same as keeping current on your browser versions.

>Also, what do the different specifications mean - final, strict, draft?

-Final is the declaration for HTML 3.2
-Strict would be used for marking up pages w/ CSS (style sheets) and for
documents that do not house any deprecated markup, and are not framed
pages, which in turn "strictly conform".
-Draft: not familiar w/ this one. Possibly for HTML 2.0? Anyone?

>I see these used in !DOCTYPE declarations. Should I include a !DOCTYPE
>declaration on my HTML docs?

To doctype or not to doctype? Some reading materials will say that
preceding your HTML documents with the SGML doctype command is not
needed, due to the confusion of versions and standards. While other
readings will say every conforming HTML document must start w/ a doctype
declaration. The standards of the W3C require the use of DOCTYPE.

I say, if you intend on using a validator and conforming to a specific
version of HTML, you must include your DOCTYPE.

>If so, why?

This specifies what version of HTML your document is and declares that
this document conforms to a specific version of HTML. Again, if you
intend on using a HTML validator, you need to include your DOCTYPE.

Cindy K. Stanley

HTML: hwg-basics mailing list archives, maintained by Webmasters @ IWA